Flashcards in Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (Claude Debussy) Deck (17):
symphonic poem (tone poem)
strings (all + harp), woodwinds (flutes, oboes, English horn, clarinets), brass (French horn), percussion (antique cymbals)
loose ternary structure (ABA), and 1 movement only
a Symbolist poem (pastoral) by Stéphane Mallarmé
begins and ends with 4 sharps
summary of original poem
a faun (half-man, half-goat, lives in forest), is visited by 3 lovely nymphs, or was this just a dream?
character or mood
hazy, dreamy quality
ambiguous tonality. Opening melody outlines a tritone. Mysterious atmosphere.
fluid rhythmic approach (obscure metric accents, figures flow across bar lines), innovative orchestration (harp glissandi, muted horns and strings)
two new themes introduced by woodwinds. contrast created through active, animated rhythm. modulations and syncopations build to an effective climax
strings often move in parallel motion (gentle, floating sound created). clarinets trace rapid whole-tone scales (exotic)
augments the opening theme. solo flute outlines a perfect 4th, which clarifies E major tonality. antique cymbals are gently struck in the final section
suggest at the material rather than directly describing it